What Are Superbugs? Silent, Invisible Killer Can Be Squashed With Global Efforts For New Antibiotics

  24 February 2020

There’s a silent, invisible killer among us. Walls, borders, even oceans can’t stop it. It’s a drug-resistant microbe. Trillions of bacteria and fungi species are constantly evolving to resist treatments. These “superbugs” kill 700,000 people worldwide each year.  

The crisis is only getting worse. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t inventing enough new cures to keep pace with drug-resistant infections. Since 1984, no truly novel antimicrobial treatments for U.S. hospital superbugs have hit the market.  

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, infects nearly 3 million people in the United States alone, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s time for the international community to help researchers develop cures for these tiny but deadly organisms.

AMR could change modern medicine as we know it, as common infections and injuries once again become death sentences. Doctors rely on antimicrobials to prevent infections after nearly every medical procedure — from hip replacements to organ transplants. If these drugs lose their efficacy, doctors will consider simple surgeries far too risky.

Author(s): John Rex and Kevin Outterson
Effective Surveillance  
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